From: Côte des Blancs, Champagne, France
Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Taste & Critical Acclaim:
A very rich Blanc de Blancs champagne that doesn’t taste bone-dry, thanks to the stunning harmony. Tons of dried pear and apple character is married to a wonderfully creamy and silky palate, the chalky minerality building beautifully at the long, refined finish. A cuvée based on wines from the Grand Cru villages of Chouilly (one third), Cramant (one third) and Oger (10%), plus the 1er Cru villages of Cuis (20%) and Vertus (2%). Disgorged in February, 2021. Drink now.
The first of the three vintages of this cuvée that I tasted, the 2008 Champagne Cuvée Oenophile Extra Brut is expressive of more confected pastry, with lemon curd, sponge cake, and white floral perfume. It is zippy and linear on the palate, with tautness all the way through, and fresh lime, green apple candy, and fantastic density throughout. Refreshing and saline, this is a fantastic wine to drink over the next 15-20 years.
Extra Brut and the wine is also described as non dosé, meaning no dosage. So it’s as dry as a bone while also being totally crisp, fresh and fruity. It also means that it needs to age in bottle to allow the mouthwatering acidity to soften a little. As it fills out, it will become an impressive wine that has pure fruits to go with the minerality.
About. Since before 1750, the Gimonnet family has been tending to vineyards in the premier cru village of Cuis in the Côte des Blancs. They supplied the great Champagne houses with grapes up until the 1930s when grape sales fell during the prolonged recession of the period. Monsieur Pierre Gimonnet finally decided to take up the challenge of vinifying and commercializing his own harvest. It was a great struggle at first to establish a clientele who were not, at that time, accustomed to "Blanc de Blancs" Champagnes, not least from a new and small independent producer.
Pierre Gimonnet built this reputation from the ground up, based on his exceptional vineyard, his half a century of experience, and the uncompromising standards that he imposed upon himself. In the tradition of all great winemakers, Gimonnet sought to limit the production of grapes in search of quality from the beginning.
The estate is now run by Olivier and Didier, who share Pierre’s fanaticism. Over the years, the family added to their holdings in Cuis, acquiring other Premier and Grand Cru vineyards in the Côte de Blancs. Today, the estate’s 29.4 hectares are located in Cuis, Chouilly (including 3 hectares of ‘Montaigu’, planted in 1951), Cramant (since 1958, coming in large part from Olivier & Didier’s mother, née Larmandier), Oger (since 2005), and Vertus (since 2008).
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